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News from the industry

October 11, 2010
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Mace is officially out of the Northeast
Mace Security International, Inc. completed the sale of two previously announced carwash sales in the Northeast region for $1,375,000.

The company now seeks to sell its remaining carwashes located in Texas and Florida to complete its withdrawal from the carwash industry. At one time, the company owned as many as 58 carwash locations.

The two carwashes sold this month are located in Camden and Sicklerville, NJ. The carwash in Camden sold for $525,000 and the carwash in Sicklerville sold for $850,000.

Mace’s primary business is to manufacture personal defense and surveillance products. The company began buying and consolidating conveyor carwashes in the late 1990’s. In 2004, the company announced it was exiting the carwash business.

Mark VII takes over Northeast region, revenues climb to $19.5M
Mark VII Equipment Inc., the US subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, will now directly sell and service its equipment in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

The former distributor there and Mark VII mutually decided not to renew their contract following a management change at the former distributor.

This has been an evolving year for Mark VII, under the direction of global carwash supplier WashTec AG, as it acquires several of its major distributors.

Revenues for the WashTec Group were up around $4.5 million to $176 million in the first six months of 2007 compared to the first half of 2006. Revenues for Mark VII climbed about $5 million to $19.5 million in the first six months of 2007.

WashTec’s goal is to take-up a leading position as a full-service provider for carwash systems in all major global markets.

Boomerang opens 21st location
Drive Clean, LLC, the carwash developer behind the Boomerang Car Wash chain, has opened its 21st Boomerang Carwash location. The site is the company’s sixth express tunnel carwash in Oklahoma City.

Boomerang has opened six new carwashes this year and has aggressive development plans for more facilities throughout the Midwestern United States.

To support this growth, Boomerang’s parent company, Drive Clean, LLC, will develop corporate-owned facilities while continuing to offer franchise ownership opportunities.

PDQ considers importing products from China
PDQ Manufacturing Inc., manufacturer of touch-free in-bay automatics, is looking into importing fabricated components from China.

Scott Vander Heiden, operations manager for PDQ, said he can’t compete with rising costs anymore. Changes in the domestic market from high gas prices to increased costs for metals have the company eyeing imports from Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) in northern China.

PDQ was one of several businesses meeting with representatives of TEDA at an informational session hosted at the headquarters of Schneider National, a transportation and logistics company.

TEDA’s average investment return rate is about 10 percent. The company said increased investment returns are not achieved though cheap labor costs; but through gains in the market.

Cali crackdown continues
Investigators with California’s Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) continued their attack on the state’s illegal carwash industry by inspecting 19 carwashes in Long Beach and Orange County. The investigation resulted in 33 citations.

The carwashes issued fines for avoiding labor, tax and licensing laws. The total citation amount was $548,150.

In January, despite the best efforts of the Western Carwash Association (WCA), California passed SB 1468, a law extending the repeal day of the Car Wash Industry compliance program in California. The law requires carwashes to be registered with the state, post a bond and keep complete records on the hours and pay of all employees

The law was extended until Jan. 1, 2010.

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